5 Things You Should Expect from Tech Support

Feb 8, 2019

Kasey Tveit

Good technical support is crucial to running a successful SaaS business, which is why it can be scary to commit to embedded BI when that also means committing to their Support team. To help you understand what to expect from your future (or current) BI provider’s support team, we put together a list of qualities to look for.

Quick response time

This may seem like the most obvious quality for any tech support team to have, but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t prioritize urgency. Just like with a plumber, electrician, or any technician, you want to know tech support will not only answer your call on the first couple of rings, but will bump you to the top of their list when those unexpected emergencies do arise.

Extensive product knowledge

When you’re new to a BI application or its updated version, you need to be able to turn to the subject matter experts for assistance, regardless of your technical ability. It’s important the support team have specialized knowledge of their product since every one has its own particular interface and configuration.

Is a certain feature switched on in the UI or the API? Is there an easier, more official way to accomplish something you’re trying to hack your way through with patchy code? Is something you need available in a later version? A team that knows the ins and outs of their product will not only answer these questions quickly, they will provide you with long-term knowledge in the process (or what we like to call teaching our clients to fish).

A collaborative approach to problem solving

Two heads are better than one—especially when they get along. It’s always a good sign when a team’s members genuinely like and respect one another; infighting is distracting, time consuming, and counterproductive. A support team with a strong group dynamic where the members have varying strengths and areas of expertise ensures that if one person can’t solve your problem, someone else can, and if neither of them knows the answer right away, they’ll figure it out together.

Technical savvy and ingenuity

Embedded BI is not one size fits all; it is designed to hook into each client’s existing setup. This makes support cases more complex than flipping switches (most of the time) and requires analysts and engineers to think creatively. They need the capacity to assess your particular configuration and provide you with a customized solution.

Sincere concern for customer success

Sincerity may be the most difficult quality to find in any technician or customer service agent, but it shouldn’t be. All that’s required to hit this mark is empathy or a desire to do a good job, and hopefully everyone in a support role (or in general) has some combination of both.

But how do you suss out the responsiveness, knowledge, ingenuity, team dynamic, and sincerity of a group of people you haven’t and might not spend a lot of time with before committing to a partnership?

First, check reviews. Reviews are your friend. Check as many review sites as you can for cross comparison. What do their clients say about them? If the support team isn’t as shiny as advertised, existing and former clients will have discovered this and done the dirty work for you. Check employee reviews, as well. Are the employees satisfied and treated well? If so, they’ll be happier, better at their jobs, and easier to work with.

Even better than checking reviews is testing the waters yourself. Interact with as many accessible members of the company as you can to get a feel for their stance and tone—attend a live webinar and ask the host questions, make conversation with sales executives and engineers during the demo, reach out to tech support or even developers during your evaluation if you can.

So do your research. And if you think you’ve spotted a support team with these qualities, you can rest easy knowing that when those unexpected issues inevitably pop up, you’ll be in good hands.

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